- Pea rock. Rinsed and still wet
- Potting soil.
- Dry sphagnum moss.
- Assorted spoons and skewers.
- Assorted Jars with covers
Fill a clean jar, about 1/4 to 1/3 full of (still wet) pea rock. I use wet rock because it seems to be just enough moisture to start out the terrarium. It's easy to over water, so I just start with wet the rock and skip watering completely.
On top of the rock, add a very thin layer of dry sphagnum moss. It's purpose is to help keep the soil from settling into the rocks. It's easiest if you pre-shape it. If you just push it into the jar, you'll have stray dry strands sticking out all over the place. Take a small amount, flatten between your hands, then fold under the strays so that you have a circle of sphagnum...like a sphagnum pizza. lol. Place it into the jar on top of the rocks.
Add potting soil, about an inch deep.
Now you're ready for your green moss. I keep about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of original dirt attached to the bottom of the moss chunk. If there's a small plant growth in the moss, like grass or a tiny weed, I leave it, just to see what happens. Drop it into the jar and use spoons or skewers to position it. Once positioned, gently push it into the potting soil. This is a good time to be handy with chopsticks.
You can add some larger rocks, marbles, or broken shards of terra cotta pots for "decoration" but it's not required of course.
Cover and place in bright, indirect, sunlight.
In about a day or so, your terrarium may look like it's about to rain. I leave it be for several days and see if it adjusts its moisture content on its own. If it still looks too wet after 5 days, take the cover off for a few hours, then replace it.
It should be wet and start regulating itself but with a new terrarium, the goal is to avoid mold growth. Once it finds its own balance, watering will be rare.
Pea rock. I got a gallon bucket from the garden supply center for 40 cents but you can find it at playgrounds or pet shops too.
Moss. Check the northside of your own house, along the foundation, you may find a little pocket of moss. Otherwise, head for a creek bed or heavily wooded forrest. Some garden centers will sell it too.
Sphagnum. I raided a handful from the fake ficus tree stuffed in the corner. lol. Also available at craft shops and garden centers.
After they're a couple of weeks old, you should know if they're going to make it and can start sharing them with friends. They'll live and die and change, so don't be discouraged, just plant another.